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Kids' Books for Black History Month
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Kids' Books for Black History Month

By 49thShelf
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These picture books are great ways to bring Black history alive for young readers. And while they're great for Black History Month, you can read them all year around.
Africville

Africville

by Shauntay Grant
illustrated by Eva Campbell
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook

Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books
When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she’s heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like — the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits t …

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Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Viola Desmond

Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Viola Desmond

by Elizabeth MacLeod
illustrated by Mike Deas
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover

Meet Viola Desmond, community leader and early civil rights trailblazer!

On the night of November 8th 1946, Nova Scotia businesswoman Viola Desmond stood up for her right to be in the “unofficial” whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre . . . and was arrested for it. Supported by the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NSCAACP) and the black-owned newspaper The Clarion, Viola took her quest for the right to freedom from discrimination to the courts. Whil …

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The Birdman

The Birdman

A Journey with the Underground Railroad's Most Daring Abolitionist
edition:Hardcover

He walked the plantation fields, freely and with the owners' permission. He was an ornithologist after all, touring the Deep South of the 1850s to study the birds. But Alexander Milton Ross was no ordinary birdman. He was an undercover Abolitionist. And he had news to spread about the Underground Railroad.

Discover the forgotten life and true adventures of Alexander Milton Ross, daring Canadian activist, who risked everything — including his life — to help bring freedom and dignity to the he …

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A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart

edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover

Finally, the remarkable story of honourary Newfoundlander Lanier Phillips is available for young children in this heartwarming picture book.

A young African American and the son of sharecroppers, Lanier Phillips escapes the violence, racism, and segregation of his Georgia home by joining the navy during the Second World War. But tragedy strikes the USS Truxtun one February night off the southeastern coast of Newfoundland, and Lanier is the lone Black survivor of the terrible shipwreck. Covered in …

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Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged

Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged

edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook

Finalist for the 2011 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction

"On behalf of the Nova Scotia government, I sincerely apologize to Mrs. Viola Desmond’s family and to all African Nova Scotians for the racial discrimination she was subjected to by the justice system . . . We recognize today that the act for which Viola Desmond was arrested, was an act of courage, not an offence." -- Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia, April 15, 2010

In Nova Scotia, in 1946, an usher in a movie thea …

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The Stone Thrower

The Stone Thrower

edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook

The African-American football player Chuck Ealey grew up in a segregated neighborhood of Portsmouth, Ohio. Against all odds, he became an incredible quarterback. But despite his unbeaten record in high school and university, he would never play professional football in the United States.

Chuck Ealey grew up poor in a racially segregated community that was divided from the rest of town by a set of train tracks, but his mother assured him that he wouldn’t stay in Portsmouth forever. Education was …

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Up Home

Up Home

by Shauntay Grant
illustrated by Susan Tooke
edition:Hardcover

A positive, heartwarming portrayal of North Preston past and present. This touching poem from spoken-word artist, poet and CBC Radio personality Shauntay Grant portrays the Nova Scotian community of Preston. Short, staccato lines, musicality and the use of real, spoken language, and Susan Tooke's breathtaking illustrations using real models from the community, combine in a sensory experience that is sure to wow readers of all ages. Grant's memories of growing up reflect a magical place where lan …

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All Aboard!

All Aboard!

Elijah McCoy's Steam Engine
by Monica Kulling
illustrated by Bill Slavin
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback

In the second of Tundra's Great Idea series, biographies for children who are just starting to read, Monica Kulling presents the life of an extraordinary man.

There were few opportunities for the son of slaves, but Elijah McCoy's dreams led him to study mechanical engineering in Scotland. He learned everything there was to know about engines - how to design them and how to build them. But when he returned to the United States to look for work at the Michigan Central Railroad, the only job Elijah …

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